Day 54: First day of (home)school and Farewell to Portland

While I was hitching up the RV, the kids were doing a unit on the color wheel:

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I had a last minute fix to do before we left:

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It was truly wonderful to be back with our old community, see old friends, and make new ones.  We hope to be back in the spring:

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We drove to Wood Village, OR, where we used the dump station at the Camping World. It turns out they allow overnight parking, so we’re staying here for the night as well.

We drove 20 miles today.   See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 47: Fort Vancouver NHS

We hopped across the Columbia into Washington for a visit to Fort Vancouver NHS.  The fort was the base for Britain’s Hudson Bay Company in the region.  We first visited the recreated fort’s gardens:

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The fort was built as a trading post for beaver pelts, so our son tried on the sample beaver fur hat.  I asked him to give me the same expression as that in the photograph of the fort’s manager, John McLoughlin:

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Here’s the original:

http://lookbeforeyoulive.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/JMcLoughlin.gif

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The volunteers at the fort’s blacksmith shop were excellent:

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Inside the main house:

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I noticed a large (3” long”) praying mantis on the back of one of the volunteers.  We removed it from her and put it on the flowers:

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Here’s our son’s head for scale, it’s under he flower he’s looking at, facing the left edge of the photograph:

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We visited the fort’s other buildings, including the bakery and doctor’s office:

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McLoughlin’s house:

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We visited the jail:

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Another junior ranger badge for our kids.  Our daughter is promising to guard the national parks and not litter, etc.:

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After leaving Fort Vancouver, we visited a museum built by the local water utility.  Most displays dealt with conservation, like this display that demonstrated how much energy is required to illuminate a light bulb:

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This giant mobile depicting the life cycle of a Salmon is made of landfill trash:

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Returning to Portland, we visited Ground Kontrol, an arcade that has only classic games from the 80s and 90s.  Ground Kontrol has the best bathroom ever.  I love the Pac-Man floor tiling and the sink with the glowing trim that cycles through the color spectrum:

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Teaching our son important life skills:

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My cousin Jason met us there and the two of us played Dig Dug for half an hour on one quarter each:

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Our son plays the original Star Wars vector game:

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Day 46: Portland area destinations

Days  42-45 were spent preparing for and enjoying Sukkos and Shabbos with the Kesser community in Portland.  I went for a ride this morning:

 

I rode by my Grandparent’s old condo complex:

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A lot has changed in the 12 years since we’ve moved away, like an actual roundabout where before the only thing to watch out for was tractor traffic:

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Early morning farmlands:

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I think the town had 70,000 people when we moved away:

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I rode by my childhood home:

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…and past my elementary school:

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Once I returned to Portland, we drove to Hillsboro for an afternoon session at my childhood rink, Skate World:

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At the rink we met Jason and Carrie, high school friends of mine, and had a great time chatting.

After the skate session was over, we drove to Jackson Bottom for a hike in the wetlands.  For some reason, there was a chicken there:

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All in all, another great day!

Day 41: Day trip to Silver Falls SP

Today the plan was to see Silver Falls State Park.  I rode my bike down while Trish and the kids drove:

 

 

It was a beautiful ride through the farmlands of the Willamette Valley:

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We hiked a couple short trails that took us to two of the waterfalls in the park:

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South Falls has a 240ish foot drop:

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It was neat to walk in behind the waterfall:

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We visited Upper North Fall as well, which was quite a bit shorter:

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I rode back to Portland with Trish and the kids.  What a beautiful way to spend a day!